Santa Monica, Calif.
Yolanda King, actress, advocate
Yolanda King, the firstborn child of the first family of the civil rights movement, who honored that legacy through acting and advocacy, died Tuesday. She was 51.
The daughter of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King died in Santa Monica, Calif. The cause of death hasn’t been established but family members have said they suspect a heart ailment.
Yolanda King, who lived in California, appeared in numerous films, including “Ghosts of Mississippi,” and played Rosa Parks in the 1978 miniseries “King.” She also ran a production company.
Yolanda King’s death came less than a year and a half after Coretta Scott King died in January 2006 after battling ovarian cancer and the effects of a stroke. Her struggle prompted her daughter to become a spokeswoman for the American Heart Association, raising awareness, especially among blacks, about stroke.
Drexel Hill, Pa.
Lloyd Alexander, novelist
Lloyd Alexander, a critically acclaimed fantasy and adventure writer whose coming-of-age novels use vivid action and elements of mythology to depict contemporary struggles between good and evil, died Thursday at his home in Drexel Hill, Pa. He was 83 and had cancer.
Alexander wrote more than 40 books and is regarded as one of the best-known writers of juvenile fiction of the past several decades. He won over adult reviewers with cliff-hanging plots, stylish prose and believable characters that make his fanciful, long-ago settings seem plausible and relevant.
He completed three major series: “The Chronicles of Prydain,” which focuses on the maturity of an assistant pig keeper named Taran and is loosely based on Welsh mythology; the “Westmark” trilogy of political intrigue, whose main character is a printer’s apprentice on the run in a corrupt European kingdom; and the “Vesper Holly” series, about a young Philadelphian who comes to the rescue of President Ulysses S. Grant.
Lauren Terrazzano, journalist
Lauren Terrazzano, a Newsday reporter who chronicled her three-year bout with lung cancer, has died.
Terrazzano, 39, died Tuesday night at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan.
Described by colleagues as a tenacious, hard-nosed street reporter, Terrazzano covered a variety of beats, most recently as a child welfare/social services reporter. She began writing the column, “Life, With Cancer,” in October 2006.
She wrote about the inappropriate things people say to cancer patients because they don’t know what else to say, and about breaking the myth that people with cancer are heroes “when really we’re just like everyone else.”
Terrazzano’s column won praise from other cancer patients as well as professional honors.